Bazemore-Hyder Stadium found itself at the epicenter of two huge matchups in the span of 24 hours on Oct. 6-7.
First, on Oct. 6, the Lowndes County Vikings and Valdosta Wildcats squared off for the Winnersville Classic, one of the most notable rivalries in high school football nationwide. Then, on the following afternoon, the Blazers took on the Delta State Statesmen in a top 20 matchup of unbeatens.
Winnersville got off to an electric start as Wildcats junior quarterback Todd Robinson broke loose for a 72-yard touchdown run.
However, the Vikings went on a 19-7 run to close out the first half. Vikings junior quarterback Marvis Parrish capped the scoring burst with a two-yard touchdown run.
The Vikings’ lead would eventually grow to 27-14 before the Wildcats responded.
Robinson helped lead a furious second half rally, throwing and running for scores as the Wildcats retook the lead 28-27.
Midway in the fourth quarter, the Wildcats busted out a trick play. Robinson pitched the ball back to sophomore wide receiver Prince Jean on a sweep. Jean then threw it to the end zone to a wide open receiver in junior Eli Lewis for a 25-yard touchdown pass.
Still, the Vikings had a chance to respond, but the Wildcats held firm on a fourth-and-8 from midfield and then got a safety on the Vikings’ last ditch effort.
That gave the Wildcats a 37-27 win over their crosstown rival and allowed them to retain possession of the Winnersville Classic championship trophy.
Saturday afternoon got off to an even more explosive start. The Blazers and Statesmen scored touchdowns on the first four possessions of the game.
The Blazers then forced quarterback Patrick Shegog into his first two interceptions of the season. Still, the Statesmen kept the Blazers out of the end zone, giving up just a field goal during the stretch.
VSU then got bit by the turnover bug just before halftime. Junior quarterback Sammy Edwards tossed a pair of interceptions, leading to the Statesmen taking a 28-17 lead into the locker room.
The deficit grew to 35-17 before the Blazers scored again.
After trimming Delta State’s lead to 35-25, though, the Blazers were unable to stop the Statesmen ground game.
The Statesmen would score two more touchdowns to come out of Valdosta with a 49-25 victory and send the Blazers to their first loss of the season.
Bazemore-Hyder will again be hosting two big matchups this weekend. The Wildcats will host the Camden County Wildcats in a key region matchup on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. The Blazers will then host the Shorter Hawks for their Homecoming game on Saturday at 3 p.m.
Written by Austin Bruce, Co-Editor in Chief. Photos courtesy of Austin Bruce.